As a secondary art educator, Carroll alumnus Frank Juarez ’97 goes above and beyond to discover the greatness that lies within each of his students. His efforts were rewarded this past March by the National Art Education Association (NAEA), as he was named the National Secondary Art Educator of the Year for 2019.
The award honors the recipient’s commitment to excellence and service within secondary art education. For Juarez, who has taught for more than a decade and currently sits as Sheboygan North High School’s art department chair, the significance of achieving such an honor is monumental.
“The fact that only one secondary art educator received this award in the United States is overwhelming,” he said. “This award represents the quality of art education that we provide at Sheboygan North High School. This award goes much further than I. It encompasses everyone—art students, administration, colleagues, school and district.”
The insightful and inspiring relationships that he builds with his students today can be traced back to his treasured time as a Carroll undergraduate, he said. “My fondest memory of Carroll was developing professional relationships with my professors, which I maintain to this day.”
Juarez has wide-reaching interests. His work extends beyond the classrooms of Sheboygan and into the streets of Milwaukee, where he operates his own gallery, the Frank Juarez Gallery, inside the Marshall Building in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. In addition, Juarez and former Carroll classmate Randall Baren ’97 are co-founders of the Randall Frank Contemporary Art Collection, which supports artists living and working on the East Coast and in the Midwest. The collection started in 2015 and continues to explore ways to support artists. In addition to art acquisitions and community art event sponsorship, they have created an artist grant program aimed to support artists financially for residencies, exhibitions and artist-led lectures, as well as commissioned works.
Whether teaching in the classroom or working in his gallery, Juarez stays committed to motivating others. His recently acquired NAEA award is a testament to that dedication. He has no plans to slow down after being nationally recognized.
“Every student has a unique story and it is our responsibility to find ways for them to blossom,” he said. “Teaching art is a complex system that others may not fully understand, which is why we need to continue to promote and advocate the importance of art education.”
Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators.